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Blackstone seeks buyer for resort

New York

BLACKSTONE Group is exploring strategic options for the Cosmopolitan hotel and casino in Las Vegas, including a possible sale of the strip property, according to a person familiar with the matter.

The investment firm is working with Deutsche Bank and PJT Partners to solicit interest from potential buyers for the resort, which could fetch US$4 billion or more, said the person, who asked not to be named because the matter is private.

Representatives for Blackstone and Deutsche Bank declined to comment. PJT didn't immediately respond to requests for comment.

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Blackstone acquired the hotel and casino for US$1.73 billion in 2014 from Deutsche Bank, which gained ownership through a crisis-related loan default in 2008.

It has since made improvements - completing construction on the top four floors, redesigning over 3,000 guest rooms and renovating spaces including the high-limit slots area.

Ken Caplan, Blackstone's co-head of real estate, described the investment in Cosmopolitan as a "classic buy-it, fix-it, sell-it opportunity" in a video posted on the company's website. BLOOMBERG